Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Review & Prices

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Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Review
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  • From Fender's 2021 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 5 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-Saddle HiMass (Toploaded) bridge
  • Bass Modern D Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Fender F Light-Weight Vintage-Paddle Keys with Tapered Shafts tuners
  • Weight between 10.188lbs (4.6kgs) and 10.375lbs (4.7kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 72
Sound 83
Build quality 82
Value for money 69
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V
  • Made in United States
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Active/Passive Preamp
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1720, which means that the Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V costs around 37% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 5 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Videos

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V | Nik West First Impressions
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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this bass say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V meets 4 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good bass to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this bass—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V weighs between 10.188lbs (4.6kgs) and 10.375lbs (4.7kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Scale Length Comparison
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale bass, and it's the most popular choice for several reasons. Even though it might be more difficult to play than short scale basses due to their increased string tension, their punchier low-end results in a clear and defined bass tone that can cut through in a mix, making them well-suited for genres like rock, metal, and funk.

Neck Profile

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Neck Profile
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V has a compound fingerboard radius of 10" to 14".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

Playability compared to main competitors

34'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.875'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.875'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.875'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Nut Width
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Nut Width

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V has a nut width of 47.6mm (1.875''). This is considered a wide width for a 5-string bass. A wider nut provides more space between the strings, making it easier for players to execute techniques like slap bass and tapping, which require extra room for precision. However, players with smaller hands might find it challenging to comfortably reach across the wider fretboard, as it requires a wider stretch between the fingers.

Frets

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V Fret Size Comparison
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 72

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Pickups

This bass comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

Preamp

The preamp is an electronic circuit that serves as an intermediary between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its primary function is to boost and shape the bass's raw signal before it reaches the amplifier. This allows for greater control over the bass's tone, volume, and other sound characteristics. Preamps often include tone controls, equalization settings, and sometimes even onboard effects, enabling bassists to tailor their sound to their preferences and the musical context.

This bass has a Active/Passive preamp. This means it combines both passive and active electronics in one instrument. This versatile setup allows the player to switch between passive and active modes, providing a wide range of tonal options. In passive mode, the bass relies on traditional passive pickups and tone controls for a warm and organic sound. In active mode, the onboard preamp circuit is engaged, offering enhanced EQ shaping capabilities and sometimes a signal boost. This flexibility caters to a broader spectrum of musical styles and playing preferences, as it allows the bassist to switch between the classic, vintage tone of passive operation and the more versatile and finely tuned active mode, all within the same instrument.

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V's configuration is SS. This is the classic Telecaster configuration and it's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

More with the same pickups

21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup

Versatility

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 5 strings, Solid Body bass with SS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any bass for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 87
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 83

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

5-Saddle HiMass (Toploaded): The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your bass. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the bass meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This bass has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 85
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 82

All Specs

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V
General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2021
Configuration: SS
Strings: 5
Made in: United States
Series: American Ultra
Colors: White, Brown, Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: 5-Saddle HiMass (Toploaded)
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender F Light-Weight Vintage-Paddle Keys with Tapered Shafts
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Black Pearloid Blocks
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass Modern D
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 10" to 14"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 47.6mm (1.875'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)

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